China is conducting the final trials of Xian H-20 strategic stealth bombers at its Hotan airbase, Opposite Eastern Ladakh, as the US pulls out its troops from Afghanistan and the border standoff with India continues.
Top government sources said that H-20 bombers are aimed at ending the edge India acquired through the acquisition of Rafale jets.
The final trials of the long-range strategic stealth bomber began on June 8 and will continue till June 22, the day that marks 100 years of the formation of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
The Xian H-20 strategic stealth bomber has stealth feature and long endurance, coupled with capability to carry heavy payloads, which could potentially dodge the “detect and disable radar” capability of India’s newly-inducted Rafale aircraft.
India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore in September 2016. After the arrival of the sixth batch last month, the Indian Air Force has now received two-third of the planes ordered from France. Rafale is a 4.5 generation aircraft and has the latest weapons, superior sensors and fully integrated architecture. It is an omni-role aircraft which means it can carry out at least four missions in one sortie.
India had displayed the capability of Rafale aircraft in eastern Ladakh and also where it will be positioned. China has not yet announced where H-20 likely to be deployed after assessment of the final test runs and possible tweaks at its bases opposite Ladakh.
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